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1341  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Any bitcoin brokers here or out there? on: March 25, 2013, 10:38:16 AM
I am thinking of starting a brokering business, introducing Bitcoin buyers and sellers, and providing a safe escrow service for the transaction. This allows people to trade without affecting the price out of their favour on the exchanges.

I only know a little of this, but what I'm learning is that finding the bulk sellers is harder than finding the bulk buyers,  The larger sellers might have coins from revenues arriving over a period of time (either mining or from sales to customers who pay using bitcoins).  This is in contrast to the bulk buyer who arrives and wants to purchase the full amount in a single transaction with little delay, and at a level somewhat close to the current spot rate.

So in order to have access to the seller's supply there needs to be capital so that the seller will never be turned away whether or not a buyer is already lined up for those coins.  The unsold stock may get converted to USDs and parked at an exchange until a buyer arrives, so as to protect against exchange rate risk, but that still is a capital intensive operation.


1342  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: FinCen and MtGox on: March 25, 2013, 09:01:06 AM
Doesn't MtGox have a US company that's registered with FinCen and handles all the exchanges? If so, US buyers/sellers through MtGox shouldn't be regulated, even in accordance with their new regulations. Thoughts?

If you are referring to Mutum Sigillum LLC, that is only used for Dwolla USD transactions to and from Mt. Gox.  I don't know that Mutum Sigillum is registered with FinCEN as an MSB.  

I believe this will soon be a moot point as accounts in the U.S. get transitioned over to service by Coinlab.  Coinlab has registered as an MSB, apparently with some reference to being a "seller of prepaid access". 
1343  Bitcoin / Technical Support / Re: Simple addr/key gen? on: March 25, 2013, 08:10:37 AM
Preferably in C# using standard MS crypto-libraries.

 - https://github.com/casascius/Bitcoin-Address-Utility
1344  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: BitCoin on Alex Jone on: March 25, 2013, 07:46:13 AM
Other Bitcoin / Alex Jones:

With caller "Dangerous" from California - Jul 22, 2011:

 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW31NnmAZHo#t=398s


With caller Immanuel from Texas (yes, it was Atlas) - Oct 10, 2011:

 - http://genaud.net/bitcoin/2011/20111010_Atlas_Alex.mp3


With guest James Wesley Rawles - Jun 16, 2012:

 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STfEPWB6MJs&t=22m40s


And this one, with Max Keiser -  Sep 17, 2012:

 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXXPVndVvxQ&t=34m56s


Add the March 12th eposide where Max talks bitcion throughout:
 - http://maxkeiser.com/2013/03/12/max-keiser-on-alex-jones-bitcoin-to-kill-the-fed/
1345  Economy / Economics / Re: With daily price variations of order of $10, how can you price anything in BTC? on: March 25, 2013, 07:36:00 AM
So why buy anything at all with BTC? Better wait, but then wait until when?

Similar reasoning can be applied if you are just to buy BTC and price is $10 more in the morning than it was in the evening. Indirectly you can spend $100 more on the same item. In one day! Again, why buy anything at all then?

The only reasonable behavior is then to just accumulate BTCs

It may depend on how easy it is for you to replenish your wallet so that your spending isn't causing you to deplete your Bitcoin balance.

In the U.S. I can transfer in funds cheaply from my bank using Dwolla. The cost is just $0.25 per transaction.

So I'll have USD funds at an exchange and as I make purchases with bitcoins I'll make a corresponding buy at my exchange so that my net BTC position doesn't decrease.

Additionally, there are people who receive bitcoins as income or wish to convert the increased purchasing power that the rising exchange rate has provided.   For them, there are costs and delays to convert that income to fiat.  If they can use those funds to pay for their purchases then they don't need to go through the hassle of cashing out.

So not everyone is hesitant to spend their coins.

1346  Economy / Gambling / Re: bitZino - Bitcoin Casino - Blackjack, Roulette, Slots, Craps, Video Poker on: March 25, 2013, 06:52:23 AM
Ideally though, external hardware should not be necessary to play our games! We've tested our site on a handful of tablets and phones, and it does seems to work well - but we haven't tested every device. I wonder what device you are using, and do you see the same problem of "clicks registering as scrolls" on other websites as well?

Have you tested in a bar with slightly intoxicated people? 

I have ... as I umm, was performing market research.  Or something.  For science, of course.

Women who happen to have long fingernails were the ones who seemed to have the hardest time with it.
1347  Local / India / Re: How Do We Serve India, 1/5th of the Global Population, with Bitcoin? on: March 25, 2013, 06:42:35 AM
Did you get any takers yet? If not I'll do it.

Someone has responded and is filling this transaction.  The payment (of 1,500Rs) was made and the next step is for Milaap to send the gift card via e-mail, so that's where this transaction is at for the moment.
1348  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Instant confirmation using only the blockchain. on: March 25, 2013, 04:48:42 AM
To be clear, I'm not trying to get around the small fees, only envisioning the speeding up of the process for the vendor and patron on a single transaction from a single wallet.

A credit card authorization ensures that the customer's credit account is open, is in good standing, and has sufficient funds to complete the submitted transaction.  If the card passes these checks, the issuing bank will place a hold on the funds for the amount of the authorization.

When looking at your credit card statement online you might see these transactions as being marked "pending" or "authorization hold".

Unless the transaction was "authorization only" (e.g., in the rental car scenario) the "pending" transaction is at some part of the several-day process for transferring funds from the customer's charge account to the merchant's bank account.  This is known as settlement.

Bitcoin doesn't have this same process flow however.  You could approximate the 0/unconfirmed being the "authorization" request and a transaction reaching six confirmations as being similar to "settlement", but these cannot be used interchangeably.

When the credit card authorization is made, the card issuer has the "master node" which is the authority as far as the customer's balance goes.

With Bitcoin there is no master node.  There is no single authority.  

So the double spending risk with Bitcoin has to do with the chance of getting a false positive when accepting a payment transaction that has no confirmations.  With no "master node" available, a merchant checks against the most recent copy of the blockchain to determine that the coins used to spend haven't already been spent.  

That would work, except that a dishonest person can cause the merchant to believe the transaction is valid while at the same time (or later time even) that dishonest party can then broadcast a different transaction that ends up spending the same funds a second time.

The use of 0/unconfirmed allows false positives (i.e., a Bitcoin client might show that funds were received when at a later time a block may arrive with conflicting information) and the initial 0/unconfirmed transaction will disappear as if it had never been made.

Because there's no way to see what is in future blocks then until those future blocks are mined a merchant is exposed to risk of a double spend.

There are various double spend attacks, but to a retail merchant the race attack is the primary one to be concerned with.  A merchant may use a payment processor (such as BitPay) or may go the do-it-yourself (DIY) route.  The bitcoin.org client can be configured to protect against being super-vulnerable to the race-attack by not enabling incoming connections and to have outgoing connections be made to well-connected nodes.   There are additional protections that could possibly be built to assist merchants however so few merchants accept on 0/unconfirmed today there hasn't been strong calls for these protections.

For instance, a 0/unconfirmed from someone paying with recently received coins that too haven't yet confirmed is more risky than is a 0/unconfirmed payment from someone who paid using coins that already have had more than six confirmations.  Or another example is a payment made that ends up being low priority due to its size or having no fee paid, etc.   The merchant can tell right away that the transaction will not confirm quickly and might want to delay crediting the payment as the longer the transaction stays unconfirmed the less cost there is to an attacker using rogue mining nodes who will process double spend transactions for a fee.

A bricks and mortar merchant like Cups and Cakes in San Francisco doesn't have much exposure to a double spend attack because it is economically unprofitable.  Let's say a race attack against them succeeds one out of twenty times (probably even a conservative estimate, the more likely rate could be one out of fifty or worse even).  So that means the dishonest customer is visiting 19 times in order to get the 20th cupcake order for "free".  Cups and Cakes probably earns more than 5% profit on each sale, so even with this double-spend exposure they are not losing money due to an occasional double spend.
1349  Economy / Gambling / Re: bitZino - Bitcoin Casino - Blackjack, Roulette, Slots, Craps, Video Poker on: March 24, 2013, 09:03:12 AM
Using a tablet (or worse, mobile) the touch is sensitive -- and oftentimes instead of registering as a click [Edit: I think "touch" is the Andrid equivalent for click] the Android event is interpreted as a scoll operation [Edit: or a drag operation maybe?].

If there were some extenal device which has a single button, "click" for spinning the slots, that would be a useful device.

Does connecting up a gamepad to a tablet (e.g., Nexus 7) enable the ability for someone to bypass the touch and instead treat the button presses as keystroke entries (specifically, whatever is needed for the Spin operation?)

1350  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: MtGox CAD to "Real CAD" on: March 23, 2013, 08:17:15 PM
I've been looking around for a while on the internet, and I couldn't find a place to exchange my MtGox CAD redeem code for "real CAD". The recommended exchange, Aurumxchange, didn't have CAD. Has anybody had similar problems/solutions?

I can't remember if MTG CAD goes away when Coinlab takes over for U.S. and Canadian users of Mt. Gox (or April 10th, technically).  I know issuance of MTG USD is being ended.

Maybe you can find someone to trade them with on #bitcoin-cad IRC.
1351  Economy / Service Announcements / Re: Purchase Gift Cards for Merchants in USA BTC+Dwolla+Lyoness=Gift CARDS on: March 23, 2013, 08:00:22 PM
Comments please good or bad idea?

I've done this transaction (sold bitcoins, withdrew Dwolla and used the funds to buy a gift card through Lyoness.us), and it worked fantastically.

The shipping and handling (S&H) for the card(s) is a $5 per order unless purchasing $300 or more of gift cards in which case the S&H is waived.

The order is sent FedEx.

So this is a 1:1 cash-out method.  You send $300 Dwolla USD you get $300 worth of gift cards in the mail.  The only cost in that instance is the $0.25 Dwolla per-transaction fee*.

In the U.S., the Gift Cards (physical cards mailed to you) available are:

 - Chevron
 - Exxon
 - BP (British Petroleum)
 - CVS Pharmacy
 - WalMart
 - Home Depot
 - Lowes
 - Sears
 - Footlocker
 - American Airlines
 - HotelGiftCard.com
 - Outback Steakhouse
 - Rotelli Pizza and Pasta

[Edit: New brands include:
 - California Pizza Kitchen
 - Peet's Coffee & Tea
 - Priceline
 - Southwest Airlines Vacations
 - WorldMarket.com
 - Sears
 - KMart
 - Dollar General
 - Linen's N Things
 - Guitar Center
 - New Balance
 - Golfsmith
 - Zumba fitness
 - Best Buy
 - Straight Talk Wireless (11%!!) ]

Additionally, with Dwolla funds sent to your Lyoness.us account you can purchase "mobile gift cards" to certain local merchants.      So even if the merchant has no idea what Bitcoin is, there is a path from Bitcoin to these local merchants.

The reason Lyoness offers this is that it is part of its merchant loyalty program which offers cash-back credited to its members.   So this can actually provide a better than 1:1 cash-out method for Bitcoin since with the "cash back reward" you get more than $1 purchase power when including the cash-back reward received for purchases.

But remember, because this is using Dwolla to fund you can cash out at an exchange that uses Dwolla and this method does not require any withdrawal to a bank account.

Anyone in the U.S. can sign up for Dwolla.  You do not need to link a bank account to Dwolla to use this.

In addition to this being a method to use Dwolla funds to buy gift cards to national brands or to fund mobile gift cards to other merchants, there are cash-back benefits available at other merchants as well if you happen to be interested as well.  

Full disclosure, forum user EndTheFed321 gets a residual commission for all subsequent purchases made through Lyoness.us by any members who are signed up by him.   That same ability to earn residuals is available to anyone else as well.

* If you don't already have a Dwolla account, you can sign up (referral link) and get a credit towards $10 of your Dwolla fees.
1352  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: SoCAL BITCOINERS Poll: Where to meet??? on: March 23, 2013, 07:36:12 PM
Josephine's is now offering free wireless internet access to its patrons

I'm bringing a Wi-Fi enabled tablet too.  Then bitZino slots or something to let the server try to juice up the tip a little.

Looks like there will be a few attending:

5  [so far]

I have reserved a table under Jose
1353  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: SoCAL BITCOINERS Poll: Where to meet??? on: March 23, 2013, 10:23:39 AM
There will be at least two Bitcoiners meeting (myself being one of them) in Cerritos this afternoon (Saturday March 23, 2013).

Details for the afternoon event:

a meetup for Saturday March 23

place 11305 183 Street
90703 Cerritos  http://www.josephinesbistroandbar.com

time 3:00 pm

[Update: There had been the desire expressed for an evening event as well. Notice was too short to try to plan one for today (Saturday March 23) but suggestions for an April date and location might help cause that to happen.  A location with Wi-Fi would be preferred.
1354  Economy / Currency exchange / Re: Selling 1. Bitcoin for Dwolla on: March 23, 2013, 03:31:18 AM
At Mt.Gox latest price you send first. to My Dwolla and I will send

I'm out of Dwolla at the moment or I'ld offer to help.  Don't forget Camp BX is a good BTC -> Dwolla method, if you can wait the X number of hours for them to process withdrawals.
1355  Economy / Service Announcements / Re: Hotel in Belize Accepting Bitcoin on: March 23, 2013, 02:26:41 AM
The owner of Pedro's Peter Lawrence saw the potential benefits that Bitcoin could bring to his business. Lawrence said, "With Bitcoin we will be able to lower our transaction costs. It's perfectly suited to our type of business where nearly all of our reservations are taken online or over the phone."

Yes, travel is one of the "high risk" merchant account categories in which they aren't paying 3% rates, but instead much higher .. 6% and up even.  So this makes perfect sense!  Additionally, now Pedro's is one of the first to offer it so they'll get additional publicity (and likely revenues) just for being a bricks & mortar merchant that accepts bitcoins.
 
High Risk Merchant Accounts
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=73694.0
1356  Economy / Gambling / Re: [BITLOTTO] Mar 1 draw over $2000 or 50BTC! Tickets now 0.1 BTC for Apr 5 on: March 22, 2013, 07:57:39 PM
I expect this is all fake (it would be if I owned the site)

Ya, operating a direct competitor to a State-run lottery would be something you would pretty much need to do anonymously.

There were concerns right off the bat, of course:

Or running away with.  Cool Wink

Ok. I admit that made me laugh. Seriously though, I'd be nuts to run with the money, I'd be better off making a small share honestly over a long period. Sure 246 BTC would be nice but I'd rather run a successful lottery in the future. I intend on running this for a very long time and with time people will see I'm doing exactly as I said.

And the use of an escrow was discussed here:

Lottery guy bets entire BTC fortune and ... loses? Smiley
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=18049.msg238619#msg238619

And there was the claim of having a partner, to keep the bus factor at two (i.e., if bitlotto operator gets hit by a bus someone else has the keys.)  Of course, there is no confirmation this exists, but if this delay is due to challenging circumstances there was supposed to be a backup to deliver the winnings. Being March 22nd and neither the normal payout nor the backup alternate having occurred has things looking worse though.
1357  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: FinCEN addresses Bitcoin on: March 22, 2013, 06:30:04 PM
Excerpt from prepared remarks of

Jennifer Shasky Calvery,
[...]
Quote
Those who are intermediaries in the transfer of virtual currencies from one person to another person, or to another location, are money transmitters that must register with FinCEN as MSBs unless an exception applies.

It sounds like they're interested specifically in exchanges.

I just re-read that and am now seeing that part being missed in the various initial interpretations of FinCEN's guidance.   FinCEN's guidance only addressed transfer of virtual currency when "as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency".  

But how would an EWallet provider know if I was sending from my EWallet to someone as part of a transfer of currency or if it was a gift, or perhaps I bought something and was paying with bitcoins.

From the director's remarks, it sounds like an EWallet would be an MSB (and thus need to obtain identity of the users then).   But almost no EWallets require that.     And I don't need an intermediary to transfer bitcoins anyway -- I can send right from my own client, without using an EWallet.

Or, are all peer nodes now considered "money transmitters" that must register with FinCEN as MSBs.

This isn't guidance from FinCEN, this is mis-guidance from the highest level.
1358  Economy / Gambling / Re: [BITLOTTO] Mar 1 draw over $2000 or 50BTC! Tickets now 0.1 BTC for Apr 5 on: March 22, 2013, 10:03:15 AM
Does anyone know him in real life?

There is an address and phone number in the whois for the domain.  I've not called it or texted to it, but that is an option.

Incidentally the domain is set to expire in a couple weeks.  It is hosted with Kalyhost, which means to probably get started on renewing that ASAP so that it has renewed before expiry.
1359  Local / India / Re: How Do We Serve India, 1/5th of the Global Population, with Bitcoin? on: March 22, 2013, 08:57:35 AM
I would like to add funds to my account at Milap.

I can add funds by redeeming a gift certificate.  

The gift certificate can be purchased by anybody, using INR either through Indian credit card or through Netbanking:
 - http://fundraiser.milaap.org/fundraisers/76#  <-- Click Contribute, then enter your name, e-mail, city and country.  
Then choose Currency INR and enter N,NNNN Rs. enter "Water" for Cause.

I'm looking for a 1,500rs gift certificate. 

Is anyone looking to convert their debit card (INR), credit card (INR) or NetTransfer (INR) for Bitcoins?   If so, PM me please.
1360  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-03-21 BrianLehrer.tv 'Segment 4 -- Cloudy Cash' on: March 22, 2013, 06:45:51 AM
Host Brian Lehrer and guests Erik Voorhees (@ErikFoorhees) and Marc Hochstein (@MarchHochstein)  

(The video shows a typo on Erik's name and Twitter handle.)


Taped: 3-18-13

Quote
Segment 4 -- Cloudy Cash

Finally, Bitcoin, and what the rise of the controversial cyber currency means for banks, government and the economy with guests, Marc Hochstein and Erik Voorhees. Hochstein is executive editor of American Banker magazine and Voorhees directs marketing and communications at BitInstant.com, a New York-based Bitcoin payment processor.


I liked the question about how Bitcoin will be used 10 years out if it succeeds.  Erik responded that those financial intermediaries who profit from "moving" bits will be displaced.
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